The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is a law that will establish a new autonomous region to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). This law will provide the basic structure of government for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and will enact the agreements set forth in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which is the peace agreement signed between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. BBL is an autonomous political entity.
I appreciate the intention of BBL which is to come up with a lasting solution in search for peace in Mindanao. So much have been transpired, many have been laid down their lives and shed blood in this warzone in the Philippines. It’s high time to stop that something must be done and BBL is here to end these nonsense killings. Watching the news and reading the primer of the draft, BBL promises the exhilarating welfare of Mindanao particularly the group of Moros in exchange of ensuring to attain the long elusive peace. Fine, I believe nothing can match any amount of money for the sake of peace especially if long overdue.
But there are scuttlebutt behind this rushing and railroading proposed bill. Most of the people are actually clueless that need an in-depth understanding about BBL, apart from the needed clarification for the unconfirmed reports of hidden agenda behind the railroading of this law. And giving my reaction to that, I want to say compromising the sovereignty and interest of the whole country and profiting of some few should not ever allow. All doubts and the allegedly vested interest of some few must be convincingly faded and what should prevail instead is the general interest of the country and not those some few.
BBL empowers the entity over the state to build their own domain by any means, as in the government is submitting the group of Moro to BBL. Giving this full authority is backing up the ultimate ideology of Moros to determine their own future. But it has to be reminded that the region is not solely for Moros. Mindanao is comprised of other ethnic groups who have their own culture, faith, arts and history. It will be discriminating for other non-Muslim minority groups like Tausugs, Maranaws, Yakans, Maguinadanaoans and others whose importance were neglected. BBL centers in Moros that non-Muslims have to give up under one flag. The Moro with the participation of neighboring country who has outstanding territorial issue, I am afraid that BBL will turn like getting own dose of medicine.
In lieu of the resources, enclosing in the draft law is the distribution of revenues generated from natural resources. In the representation of the percentage of share, BBL favors more power over the state on the unfair distribution of revenue. Larger amount of division of wealth goes to BBL which I think imbalanced for the state. I think any resources within the territories of the Philippines belong to the state and that any generating revenue from it should prioritize to go to government fund. The whole Mindanao is part of Philippines, part of it can be autonomous but should always part of the republic and anything that in relation should always favor in the best interest of the Philippines.
Everybody wants peace but our heartfelt desire to attain peace must still be bounded with constitutionality. Mindanao is very promising land, like other travel trotter, I want to go to different places of Mindanao and see the wonders of this majestic place but there is always fear in me because of the ill-reputed impression from infamous news about Mindanao, making anyone like me afraid in own country. I want the turmoil in Mindanao to put end and finally restore the peace in the land but if by means of the current form of BBL, I would say no primarily because of three things: it empowers selective group only, it favors over the state on the distribution of revenue, and it neglects the interest of the other minority ethnic groups. I want peace for Mindanao but there is a need to amend BBL into an acceptable form.
By Alex V. Villamayor
September 8, 2015